Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns following unauthorized vaccine trip to Yukon

Marco Green
January 26, 2021

Many people who work in rural Yukon come from other parts of Canada, so proof of residency hasn't been required at traveling vaccination clinics, Yukon Community Services Minister John Streicker told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

The chief executive officer of Great Canadian Gaming Corp. has resigned his position following reports that he and his wife were charged with violating Yukon health restrictions to get a COVID-19 vaccine while deliberately misinforming officials that they were local workers, BNN Bloomberg has learned.

"As a company, Great Canadian takes health and safety protocols extremely seriously, and our company strictly follows all directives and guidance issued by public health authorities in each jurisdiction where we operate", said Chuck Keeling, executive vice president of stakeholder relations and responsible gaming, in an emailed statement.

According to the Toronto Star via The Canadian Press, the two chartered a flight up to Beaver Creek, Canada's most westerly community.

The couple claimed to be new hires at a nearby motel, but raised suspicions when they asked for a ride to the airport shortly after getting their shots, Streicker said.

Meanwhile, White River First Nation Chief Angela Demit, leader of the local indigenous nation, wrote on her Facebook page: "We are deeply concerned by the actions of individuals who put our elders and vulnerable people at risk to jump the line for selfish purposes".

Tickets filed with a court registry in Whitehorse last Thursday show 55-year-old Rodney Baker and Ekaterina Baker, who is 32, were each charged with one count of failing to self-isolate for 14 days and one count of failing to act in a manner consistent with their declarations upon arriving in Yukon.

The Moderna vaccine was being distributed, and the couple managed to secure their doses.

The maximum fine under the emergency measures act is $500, and up to six months in jail.

He says territorial enforcement officers received a call about the couple, who were later intercepted at the Whitehorse airport trying to leave Yukon. The place they said on the official form they would use to self-isolate was empty, per the report.

They were fined $1,150 each, Yukon News reported.

"I'm pretty angry at the whole thing".

She said the community "was selected for vaccines given our remoteness, elderly and high-risk population, as well as limited access to health care".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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